5 Canna-Commitments to Jump-Start Your New YearLeave a Comment
If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking: Oh no, not another “New Year, New You” list of resolutions. So often the start of a new year is a thinly veiled ploy to get you to buy into a product, a membership or a whole new lifestyle.
At Nugg we believe people can grow, just like our favorite plant, but they’re unlikely to make radical shifts all at once. Similarly to how cannabinoids work to soothe your body’s nervous system over time, the “new you” will likely also take time to be nurtured and developed into the biggest, most dank nug – I mean person – you can be.
With this “slow down to speed up” philosophy in mind, here are five New Year’s canna-commitments to consider. What would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!
1. Support Black and Brown-Owned Cannabusinesses
In what’s hailed as perhaps the biggest year for cannabis ever, people often forget to read the fine print of history playing out today. Did you know that in the mid-1930s, joints were called “jazz cigarettes?” It’s true. And cannabis was linked to ground-breaking musicians like Louie Armstrong, whose music was deemed “satanic” by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
Ever since cannabis was outlawed in 1937, people of color have been targeted by racially-biased drug laws. This is still the case in the criminal justice system. It’s why we consumers need to continually push lawmakers to expunge records and roll back sentences, especially in states where recreational cannabis has been legalized. We also need to pay attention to the fact 81% percent of new cannabis businesses are owned and operated by whites, while just 4% are black-owned.
There are city-level equity programs which allegedly help people of color obtain priority business licenses. And yet, even in places covered in a cloud of lemon haze like Oakland, obtaining a license doesn’t always translate into production and revenue due to faulty implementation structures.
In light of the “Permit Patty” episode of 2018, consumers can do their part to look into a company’s background before purchasing. Here are a few ways to learn more about and support leaders in the equity in cannabis movement:
- Follow cannabis influencers on social media like Women Grow’s founder Jazmin Hupp and writer and cannabis entrepreneur Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey
- Listen to the “potcast,” “High, Good People”
- Read Broccoli Magazine
- Subscribe to Maria & Jane’s weekly newsletter for cannabis round-ups for and by women (of color!)
Power Ballad: Can You Get To That by Funkadelic
Edibles for Equity: Whoopi & Maya
2. Cultivate Beginner’s Mind
Some of you are old hats at cannabis. You can roll a joint with your eyes closed, know the optimal vaping temperature, and make homemade edible treats and tincture drinks. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go back to square one.
Beginner’s Mind is a useful idea that comes from traditional Zen Buddhism. This philosophy encourages “an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.” (According to Google, so consider this a very rudimentary definition.)
How can you approach your cannabis consumption with a “don’t know” mind in 2019, regardless of expertise? What can you experiment with, as the wise ones say, to deepen your practice? If you’re new to cannabis, where do you start and, more importantly, how can you do so with no preconceptions? Jump in and find out!
Power Ballad: Light It Up by Major Lazer, Nyla, Fuse ODG
Contemplative Flower Strains: Blue Dream, Granddaddy Purple, and Northern Lights
3. Look Out for “Minor” Cannabinoids
Never heard of THCa, CBN or CBG? These dudes are VIPs and will make some power moves in 2019.
Ask budtenders if they know which products are labeled with the full cannabinoid breakdown. Companies worth their salt are providing it, along with other detailed info, on their offerings. Don’t worry about sounding picky; more research shows that even small percentages of these compounds can have a profound impact on conditions like insomnia, inflammation and neurological disorders. Minor is a bit of a misnomer; these cannabinoids are essential in creating the “entourage effect” that washes your system with plant-based healing.
Power Ballad: Girl Blunt by Leikeli47
Full Spectrum Cartridges: Level, TreeBase Klear
4. Not So Scary Edibles
Edibles actually took a bit of a hit in 2018 for several reasons. Most notably, safety was an issue due to pesticides and mold. At Nugg, we make sure to review our products based on rigorous quality standards. If a product doesn’t deliver after repeated use, you’ll know. Even if you don’t order from Nugg, find a budtender you trust for recommendations and/or a reputable company with stringent, triple-testing standards.
Power Ballad: Échame La Culpa by Luis Fonsi and Demi Lovato
Safety First, Then Teamwork Microdose: The Venice Cookie Company’s Savory Pretzels (3mg THC per pretzel!)
5. Get Active with Cannabis
Remember, sativa isn’t just good for socializing — it’ll also get your butt up and in gear. As we start the new year, it can mean committing to being more active, even if that’s just breathing deeply. Then, as always, indica and/or CBD will help soothe exercise-induced aches and pains, and also help you fall asleep so you can do it over again.
Power Ballad: Where Them $@ by Dreezy
Step To This Triple Threat: Cartridge: Jetty Extracts Super Lemon Haze 0.5g; Flower: Durban Poison; Edible: The Farmaceuticals Do Drops.
These are just a few ideas to help you make the most of 2019 and feel good about your purchase decisions while nurturing your body.
If you’re looking for specific product recommendations, chat live with Nugg’s Cannabis Concierge. Our experts are standing by to help you find exactly what you need – make this year the best one yet.
The cannabis industry has seen an influx of new consumption methods in recent years. New categories of products like vape cartridges sprung up to become major sellers in legal and illegal markets. At the same time, edibles have become more reliable and evenly dosed. All the while, the potency of products continue to climb to the point that some exceed 99%.
Despite the enhancements and advancements in cannabis in recent years, flower still remains a present entity in the hearts and bloodstreams of users. In today’s landscape, the reasons can vary from history to business trends. Regardless, the question of why still buy flower abounds with quality reasons.
The Natural, Full Effect of Flower
The major selling points of flower tend to center on its natural and often highly potent effects. Cannabis flower proponents often cite the full spectrum, natural benefits of going with the green, or purple, or any other stunning shades it may come in. While the Entourage Effect continues to be debated, it’s clear that cannabis flower is the optimal source for all its effects. The plant itself is a guaranteed source of terpenes, cannabinoids and a range of secondary compounds that round out the effects of a particular strain.
On another note, with the natural movement sweeping into cannabis like most other markets, the market demands solvent-free products. Save for a few exceptions, few products on the market can claim to be solvent-free at this time. The trend is well underway and will likely shift in time, but many chemically extracted products can turn off some consumers. Instead, with cannabis, cultivators continue to produce chemical-free crops. When buying flower, the consumer just needs to ensure that their grower used a chemical-free process. If you’re in the market for a quality source, seek out chemical-free sun grows for the most natural flowers.
Additionally, despite product potency becoming a critical buying factor for many, there are benefits in the lesser strength flower products. For one, those seeking a short-term high will likely benefit from sticking to smoking flower rather than opting for an edible or concentrate. And let’s not scoff at flower’s potency. While it may not come close to 99%, some of the top yields can easily reach or exceed 30%.
The History Behind the Plant
Evolution is great and bound to happen. That said, we shouldn’t let our history fade away. As Taylor Blake, Co-Producer of The Emerald Cup, told Nugg how cannabis flower connects us to our past. “The practice of using specifically the cannabis flower itself can be traced throughout our greater history around the world.” Blake added that “When you consume the flower itself, all of your senses are invoked and it’s something that cannot be described as anything less than inspiring.” This is a sentiment often shared by those attending the Emerald Cup, which is regarded as the largest, most respected, organic, outdoor, medicinal cannabis competition in the world.
There’s certainly room at the table for all consumption methods to be welcome. Yet, no others rival the legacy of cannabis flower. While hitting a vape pen, doing dabs or eating more sophisticated edibles are all well and good, they lack the history and spirit. Cannabis flower has been considered an essential herb to ancient healers and swept across the globe. Without flower, we would not be where we are today. The connection it carries to the earliest eras of humanity is not lost on plenty of modern consumers. Even with incredible innovations arising, the plant itself will always be held in rarefied air.
Cannabis Flower Sales Declining
According to the Cannabis Intelligence Briefing from BDS Analytics and The Arcview Group, the need for flower will grow 26.5% by 2022. Currently, 2.1 million pounds of dried flower is needed to meet market demands. By 2022, it will take 6.9 million.
Calling it “The Foundation of the Cannabis Industry,” the report notes that buying trends have shifted. Now, cultivators are growing product for other consumption means. U.S flower demand is dropping to a low 68.6% in 2017. However, the report notes that it won’t drop off the list of entirely. “Burgeoning international markets and emerging adult and medical markets in North America are expected to help temper the decline in flower cultivation demand, but the days of flower dominance are behind the cannabis industry.”
Jessica Billingsley, CEO & Co-Founder of MJ Freeway, the company which invented seed-to-sale technology, explained to Nugg that data shows it is still viable. “Although flower’s percentage share of the pie is less than when adult use markets first opened, demand for flower in established states like Colorado, continues to increase in volume year over year.” Billingsley added that MJ Freeway consultants recommend OG Kush and Blue Dream as top strains which are easy to cultivate and produce good yields.
A World of Flower Awaits
The best part of cannabis flower may have to be its innovation. Keeping up with strain advancements is rather taxing. Cultivators create incredible hybrids at such a rapid rate these days. Classics and new favorites intermix on sales shelves across legal markets. In turn, they often provide the inspiration to push other products to new heights in the process.
Each cannabis consumer has a different taste. Some like sweet while others prefer fuel. One may love smelling like a citrus grove and another the forests of Northern California. Thankfully, cannabis flower offers a favorite for each consumer. With an array to choose from, consumers can get lost in a slew of indicas, sativas and hybrids. Hybrid fans, especially those leaning towards indicas, may find themselves loving Korova Mendo Breath. Meanwhile, sativa lovers may go gaga over THC Designs’ Grape Head. The best way to find out which suits a consumer best is to sample as many as possible.
While flower gets lapped in potency and consumer demand, let’s not put it to rest any time soon. Demand will always exist, even if it cedes dominance to concentrates and edibles. Nothing can top the original, and we wouldn’t be here today without its continued progress.
Nugg has countless cannabis flower options available for delivery. Visit GetNugg.com and see if your favorite dispensary delivers to your door. If you have questions, our Cannabis Concierge is here to help you find the strain you’re looking for. Chat live with our experts today!
It’s Friday so you purchase some quality flower to help relax. But you unwind too much and leave the jar open over the weekend, only to find stale, flavorless flower come Monday. Maybe you store a top-shelf cartridge in your pocket, forget it’s there, and break it when you sit. Or you leave a piece of chocolate in its foil wrapper where it melts from sun exposure.
While stale bud, leaky cartridges and melted chocolate aren’t the end of the world, it’s really annoying to waste your hard-earned money at your local dispensary or on cannabis delivery. You want the most out of your investment.
You may not realize this, but proper cannabis storage can keep your products fresh, potent and tasty. They, like fresh produce, are also susceptible to degradation. Taking a couple of simple precautionary steps will ensure your edibles, flower, pre-rolls, concentrates, vape carts, tinctures and topicals stay fresh and effective ‘til the end!
Here we’ll give you some tips on how to get the most out of all your cannabis products. In the end, it’s better for your bank account and body.
What you'll learn in this post:
[Click any of the section titles below to jump there]
Natural forces can really do a number on cannabis quickly. Beyond the physical alterations, factors like heat, air, and UV rays can actually lead to cellular changes that modify potency and effects.
Cannabinoids, the vast chemical compounds found in cannabis like THC and CBD, can synthesize into other forms. Many cannabinoids are stored as acids, which aren’t “bioavailable” without heat. Cannabinoids like CBC (Cannabichromere) and CBG (Cannabigerol), which we don’t know much about, are synthesized from their acidic versions (CBCA and CBGA) when they come into contact with heat.
One of the most consequential examples of cannabinoid synthesization is THC, the cannabinoid that makes us feel high. THC becomes bioavailable when THCA, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, is exposed to heat. But that’s not the final act. When exposed to light and air, cannabis is synthesized into CBN, a cannabinoid known for making you very sleepy.
Synthesizing THC to CBN isn’t necessarily a bad thing; some may even benefit from CBN. If you deal with sleep disorders or pain due to inflammation, CBN’s sedating and anti-inflammatory properties could do the trick. Just be aware that, typically, the higher the CBN level, the lower the THC and psychoactive effects.
Yet if you buy cannabis with a certain THC level and want to keep it that way, storing the product properly will help preserve its potency, texture, flavors and effects. Generally, the most important natural forces to consider are light, temperature, air, and moisture. Improper levels of any of these can lead to changes in taste, potency, safety and, as mentioned, even cannabinoids.
Failing to stash a strain properly can alter its effects and potency. UV rays, specifically UVA and UVB, are undoubtedly powerful. UVB can break down THC, which can lead to a drop in potency. Protecting your flower from this demise is as simple as buying a couple of UV-protected jars and storing them in a dark, cool place when not in use.
Cannabis should be stored somewhere relatively cool (60°-70°F) and dry. Heat and moisture can produce mold, which can be very dangerous to inhale.
But it can’t be too cold! Cannabis, especially flower, should never be placed in the fridge or freezer. These frigid temperatures will cause the trichomes, those little hairs that make buds look frosty, to separate. Losing trichomes means losing important cannabinoids and flavors.
In general, cured and processed cannabis should be exposed to as little oxygen as possible. Too much O2 can cause rapid cannabinoid deterioration. As we mentioned, oxygen is responsible for synthesizing THC to CBN. Oxidation will produce a less potent “high” than cannabis products kept in airtight containers. Those UV protective jars above are great because they have an airtight seal and block harmful rays.
Too little humidity can lead to crunchy, unappealing cannabis that lacks flavor and potency. Sounds gross, right? On the other hand, too much dampness and lack of airflow can create a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
And as if that isn’t enough, too much humidity and stale air can really ruin the flavor of cannabis by introducing too much ammonia to the chemical equation. Neither is great, though there are easy ways to regulate moisture in your cannabis jars, pre-rolls, and edibles so you have no excuse! Simply buy freshness packets to store in the jar/pack/pouch to help regulate moisture, avoid mold and flavor degradation.
Nowadays, we have cannabis-infused versions of just about everything: cold brew coffee, truffles, dried fruit, potato chips, granola–the combinations are virtually endless. Because of this, each edible type comes with its own shelf life and storage needs. On top of that, many come with more than one dose, so proper cannabis storage is necessary if you want to maintain freshness until the next dose.
The number one rule when it comes to edibles: pay attention to the packaging. With such variety their needs vary, so check for shelf life info like sell-by/expiration dates, refrigeration instructions and how long a product will last after opening. If you can’t find any of these details, ask your budtender or contact the brand for advice.
If you don’t spread infused butter or olive oil on your daily toast, stow in the freezer instead of the frig. Just be sure to use the rest in six months or risk it going rotten.
Refrigerate drinks, candy bars and baked sweets unless consumed in one sitting. Don’t like them ice-cold? Let chocolates, cookies, cakes and krispy treats sit out for five minutes to reach room temperature or risk cold, hurt teeth. Unlike baked goods, most chocolate bars don’t come in resealable packaging, so also put them in an airtight sandwich bag to prolong shelf life.
More popular infused snacks like chips and popcorn already come in resealable bags; those that don’t, place in an appropriately sized ziplock bag. Regardless of the packaging, keep them anywhere it’s not very hot or cold since they don’t require refrigeration.
As for gummies, most are also already packaged in reclosable bags or child-proof plastic bottles. Refrigeration won’t do any harm, though you’ll do more chewing, so put them in a cool, shady place like a drawer or cabinet.
Flower & Pre-Rolls
We can’t overstate the difference proper storage can make on cannabis flower and pre-rolls. Flower easily deteriorates when exposed to oxygen, humidity and UV rays that can lead to lackluster flavor and effectiveness.
If you left a fresh nug or joint out on the counter, it wouldn’t be worth consuming within two weeks. But with the proper cannabis storage techniques, flower and pre-rolls can last up to six months or longer! That’s a huge difference in shelf life for very little effort.
First, let’s discuss the best containers for storing cannabis flower. Here’s a little-known fact: the static electricity in plastic bags can actually make marijuana less potent by attracting the trichomes away from the buds and to the walls of the plastic bag. These trichomes are full of cannabinoids and terpenes, both essential to the potency and flavor. If plastic bags are part of your current storage technique, now’s the time to invest in some UV-blocking glass jars.
Now let’s talk temperature. Proper conditions will ensure your cannabis doesn’t dry out or grow yucky organisms like mold and bacteria. These gross critters thrive above 77°F, so always stash your bud in a cooler environment and away from direct sunlight, preferably 60°F to 75°F. This can be as simple as keeping a jar or pre-roll pack/tube in a desk drawer in a shaded part of your home. And if you want to be extra cautious about moisture levels (and you should), invest in some freshness packs to extend their shelf life.
But, whatever you do, don’t store your cannabis flower or joints in the fridge or freezer. While a very short stay in either isn’t necessarily bad, storing flower in very low temperatures for an extended time can cause the trichomes to fall right off.
Concentrates have taken the cannabis world by storm. Similar to edibles, there’s a huge variety available made using different extraction processes, resulting in distinct textures and effects like sugar, shatter, budder, resin, and crumble.
Unlike flower, these concentrates offer more potent effects, a cleaner high, and arguably more complex taste. However, improper storage can be detrimental to these positive characteristics.
Concentrates are one of the easier products to preserve, lasting three to six months or longer when properly stored. Concentrates like sauce, butter, and crumble typically come in thick glass jars while others like shatter are packaged in small plastic cases (like SD cards) or paper envelopes with the product wrapped in parchment paper. Regardless of their packaging, don’t leave them exposed to the air when not in use.
If you want short-term storage and transportation, purchase an airtight silicone container to keep your preferred concentrate(s) free of debris, deterioration, and harmful UV rays.
Proper storage is a matter of function as well as preservation. Vape carts should also be placed in a cool, dark locale to preserve potency and flavor. Beyond that, tossing one around haphazardly or storing it horizontally (unless in the manufacturer’s case) can lead to annoying mishaps like leaking and clogging.
Unfortunately, most cartridges are made from plastic and thus relatively easy to break; the components are so small it isn’t hard to get a clog. And when you pay $50-$60 for a top-shelf one, being careless with care can really hurt your wallet.
Keep in mind that pyrex and metal cartridges are less likely to break since the material’s stronger. Whenever your battery pen isn’t in use, unscrew the cartridge to avoid any unnecessary heat. Then store it upright with the mouthpiece facing up; keeping the oil down by the wick won’t cause clogging near the mouthpiece. Plus, you won’t have to wait for the oil to flow back down towards the heating element. Want portability? Invest in a vaporizer that comes with a padded carrying case.
Here’s an extra tip for clogged cartridges (they’re more common than you think): many top-shelf brands use more natural ingredients like honey in their concentrates. This can cause the oil’s viscosity to fluctuate, sometimes resulting in jamming. But before you give up on a vape oil cartridge try thinning the oil with a little heat using these two methods. Take small, rapid puffs while plugged into the battery to get the heating element fired up or simply roll the cartridge between your hands quickly to create friction. Now you’re heatin’ up!
If this was a competition, tinctures and topicals would be tied for easiest cannabis storage. Generally, tinctures are a supremely underrated form of consumption. Not only are they a very discrete non-smoking option that can be added to nearly any food or drink, they have a two or three-year shelf life if stored right!
That might sound crazy, but tinctures are incredibly stable due to the alcohol extraction method most commonly used to make them. So, as you might guess, tincture storage is pretty simple. Whether it’s olive oil, vegetable glycerin or something else, it’ll preserve easily. All you need is one of those UV-protected bottles or jars kept in a cool, dark place. And as if that isn’t easy enough, virtually all tinctures already come in UV-protected packaging.
Storing topicals is pretty much a no-brainer. These can easily have a shelf life of one to two years if stowed properly — since storing topicals is so easy, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Whether an oil, lotion, salve, spray, balm, or cream, they’re all made to be stored in a bathroom or medicine cabinet like the rest of your ointments and other medications. That means the materials used to emulsify and mix into topicals are, for the most part, completely shelf stable. And just like tinctures, virtually all topicals come in UV-protected and airtight packaging.
Still, the normal rules of cannabis storage still apply. Keep your topicals in a cool, dark place; don’t let them sit in the car during a hot summer day or in the freezer when the AC is on the fritz. Generally speaking, a bathroom or bedside drawer are great spots to store.
Sadly, when it comes to packaging, not all brands are created equal. Some may look very visually pleasing, but just doesn’t offer the level of protection needed to keep what’s inside fresh. Here are some concentrates, carts, flower, pre-rolls, and edibles that are just as potent as they are protected.
Look for concentrates that come in small and sealable glass jars or syringes rather than just parchment paper and a Ziplock bag. Both Heavy Hitters and Alpine Vapor make some pretty cool small syringes filled cannabis distillate and oil, respectively. These can be easily be stored upright and will limit the concentrate’s exposure to unnecessary air.
Invest in one that comes with a nice, padded carrying case like this one from AbsoluteXtracts. For a disposable vape option, try a dosist pen. While these pens are made of recycled plastic, they’re incredibly well made and aren’t likely to leak or break. Why? The entire cartridge, except a small window to gauge the level of oil, is encased in a strong plastic shell.
Flower & Pre-Rolls
When it comes to flower and pre-rolls, invest in brands that package their products safely and correctly to maximize shelf life. Flow Kana packages their flower in UV-protected, amber glass jars. Ganja Gold houses their individual flower/wax/kief tarantula pre-rolls in sturdy, airtight plastic doob tubes. THC Design shrink wraps their Classic J’s tins containing six joints, each with its own molded placeholder, covered by a Boveda humidity pack and thin paper sheet.
Most infused foods, unfortunately, aren’t made with storage in mind, especially those that come with multiple doses like a chocolate bar or baked good. If you’re like me and often find yourself with more, there are a few options.
One option: buy edibles with resealable packaging. Korova stores all of their bars and cookies in tricky-to-open, UV-protected, resealable plastic pouches. If dividing one is too much trouble or sweets aren’t for you, try Milo Confections single serving mints. They provide the exact dose you want and fit in your pocket or purse. Just pop one or two out of the tin whenever you need relief!
Do yourself a favor and stash your cannabis where it’ll keep fresh! It’ll last longer, keep its flavor and potency, and remain free of mold and other harmful bacteria. When it really comes down to it, cannabis storage is as simple as keeping a UV-protected jar or ziplock bag in a cool, dark drawer. Sounds easy enough, right?
If you’re curious about the best way to store your favorite or new product, consult Nugg’s cannabis concierge service. Our team of experts can give you the most up-to-date info on how to seal your stash, maximizing flavor and potency for weeks to come.
Legally prescribed opiates kill more people than illegal heroin and cocaine combined. Meanwhile, the ugly stepsister on the Schedule I drug list, cannabis, has yet to take a single soul. The federal government, however, stubbornly maintains that opiates have a medical use while cannabis does not.
Have they lost their minds? On the take? Or are they simply ignoring the facts?
Roughly 23% of adults reported consuming opiates in some form between 2015 and 2017 – mostly in the form of legally prescribed painkillers. The CDC reports that 55,043 of these people died from an opiate overdose in the same amount of time. In contrast, cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States with 22.2 million users, according to the CDC, with no recorded deaths.
Then why are opiates so commonly prescribed while our federal government attacks cannabis like an instrument of biological warfare?
Here's what you'll learn in this article:
[Click any of the section titles below to jump there]
- Is Cannabis Really Safer Than Opiates?
- You Can Die from a Cannabis Overdose — But It's Practically Impossible
- What's an LD50?
- What's the Cannabis LD50?
- How Does This LD50 Translate to Human Dosing?
- Effective Vs. Lethal Dose
- The Brain's Added Overdose Protection
- Sometimes All That's Needed Is a Little Common Sense
Is Cannabis Really Safer Than Opiates?
The general consensus remains that cannabis is a far-safer alternative for treating ailments associated with serious illness than opiates. Here are a few reasons backed by science, not just anecdotal evidence:
- There are still no known cases of cannabis death by overdose alone, while there are tens of thousands of opiate overdoses per year.
- Unlike opiates, the amount of cannabis needed to treat a condition is hundreds of times smaller than what’s theorized to kill a human. (Theorized, not proven; death by cannabis alone may be impossible.)
- The body’s own biological responses to THC might actually protect us from overdosing on it. Opiates, on the other hand, are hard-wired to our respiratory system.
1) The LD50 (the median lethal dose) for cannabis is many times higher than for any other comparable medicine.
2) There’s a huge gap between the effective cannabis dise and the estimated LD50, while there’s a tiny gap between the effective dose of opiates and the LD50.
3) The body’s own physiological responses when cannabinoid receptors are activated add protection from an overdose of THC, while opiates can easily fatally depress respiration.
But what does all this scientific jargon mean, and is it still possible to die from a cannabis overdose? Is cannabis truly a safer alternative, or would patients who use it just trade “one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful,” as Attorney General Jeff Sessions says?
Let’s take a closer look at the facts.
You Can Die from a Cannabis Overdose — But It’s Practically Impossible
Yes, it’s possible to die of a cannabis overdose. But unlike opiates, this is incredibly difficult to accomplish. And, contrary to some controversial news reports, no one has actually succeeded.
This is commonly accepted knowledge, yet there are few people who can explain why this is so. There are plenty of articles online claiming it’s feasible to overdose on edibles with high-potency concentrates. Some even estimate you could die from eating a 2,000mg THC treat. It’s a good idea to consider the source for such an unreasonable claim.
All of these speculations add to the confusion that fuels the nationwide legalization debate, and some of them merely defy common sense. For instance:
- If it’s physically possible to overdose on an edible commonly available in legal cannabis markets, why aren’t we inundated with a cannabis overdose epidemic along with our opiate one?
- Do scientists truthfully know how much cannabis it takes to kill a mouse, let alone a human?
- How is it possible to get so high from a substance and not die?
That last is a legitimate question for anyone who’s ever experienced a massive case of couch lock from that hypothetical 2,000mg candy bar.
What’s an LD50?
LD50 is an abbreviation for the dose that would prove lethal in 50% of test subjects. For this reason, tests to determine lethal doses are only administered on test animals – often genetically modified lab rats. These are done under controlled conditions where varying doses are given to test subjects; meanwhile, control groups receive the same substance without the active ingredient.
If a lab tests the LD50 for oral THC administration in a corn oil base, it would have to test groups with varying doses of THC, and the control groups would get the corn oil. The dosage for the measured substance is in mg/kg body weight, or milligrams of the substance per kilogram the subject weighs. So if we have a freakishly large test rat weighing one kilogram that was in the 50mg/kg test group, it’d receive doses of 50mg THC.
It’s important to understand because these tests are performed on animals, not humans – making it impossible to measure the exact toxicity for any substance. There are physiological differences in metabolism and biology that come into play.
It’s also true that every substance we ingest has an LD50 – including the ones we need for basic biological functions like water and vitamins. You can die from drinking too much water at once, water intoxication, and it happens quite often. So, it’s important to look at these figures with this understanding.
What’s the Cannabis LD50?
Scientists have obtained extremely varied LD50 estimates with tests using Marinol – synthetically produced Delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on rats:
|Method of Administration||Lowest Experimental Result That Caused Death in 50% of Animal Subjects||Highest Experimental Result That Caused Death In 50% of Animal Subjects|
|IP Administration (injection into the abdominal cavity)||168mg/kg||672mg/kg|
Thought to be the most psychologically and physiologically active compound in cannabis, Delta 9-THC is not the only one. The cannabis that we normally smoke, eat (and hopefully don’t inject) has many other derivatives that have been tested even less than THC, including:
- Delta 8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
Some of these compounds, like cannabidiol, have opposing effects to Delta 9-THC and therefore mitigate the drug’s effects. This is why LD50s for pure THC should be considered only as guidelines for further research, not the definitive guideline for human dosing. View a fairly comprehensive list of the 483 known cannabis compounds and their known physiological effects here.
How Does This LD50 Translate to Human Dosing?
Since the LD50 estimates based on animal studies are so varied and the tests have only been on animals, it’s pretty hard to nail down how much cannabis would be needed to kill someone.
LD50s vary widely between species. A human can tolerate up to 1,000mg/kg of theobromine, the chemical in chocolate that can kill dogs and cats if they eat as little as 300mg/kg. There’s also a large gap between the lowest dose of a substance that can kill and the dose that kills 100% of the test subject – known as the LDLo and LD100 respectively.
All we can do is attempt to extrapolate the best guess of the human LD50. Estimates have ranged from “smoking enough to die of oxygen deprivation first” to “drowning in a vat of hash oil.” These claims, far from a scientific explanation, do little to ease the jitters and paranoia suffered by the poor sap who just ate a 2,000mg candy bar for his first cannabis experience. Let’s look at the numbers.
The lowest effective oral dose of pure THC that produced fatalities in 50% of rats was 666 mg/kg (a kilogram is 2.2 pounds). That means the sap who ate that super potent candy bar would have to weigh about 6.6 pounds (roughly the size of a small newborn infant) in order to have a 50% chance of dying, according to the most conservative LD50 estimates.
If he weighs about 160 lbs., he’d have to consume roughly 48,436mg of pure THC to reach this threshold. If he’s never eaten that much before, it’s a good bet he’s freaking out.
For contrast, the LD50 for oral administration of the common opiate fentanyl citrate in rats is 18mg/kg.
Effective Vs. Lethal Dose
A substance’s effective dose is “the amount of a drug, or level of radiation exposure, that’s sufficient to achieve the desired clinical improvement.” The larger the gap between the LD50 and the effective dose, the safer and more effective the drug. In truth, this number is far more important than the LD50, since it determines the risk of overdose from a standard dose.
The measurement of the mean effective dose for a drug, versus the mean lethal dose, is often called the LD50/ED50, or the Therapeutic Index (TI). Here are the TIs of several common drugs to put the issue in perspective:
- Alcohol – 10
- Morphine – 70
- Valium – 100
- THC – 1,000
According to the TI ratings, the only fully legal drug on this list is also the most dangerous – alcohol. This would explain why there are 2,200 U.S. alcohol poisoning deaths each year. It also explains why we have yet to see a single cannabis poisoning fatality.
The Brain’s Added Overdose Protection
When THC is introduced to the brain, it releases the hormone pregnenolone, inhibiting the intoxicating effects of THC. In other words, we naturally have a built-in system that keeps us from “getting too high.” Our 2,000mg chocolate-eater wondering why paint is peeling off the walls will probably tell you it’s not working.
In fact, many scientists are looking into the effectiveness of pregnenolone for treating cannabis overdose. After all, many people who take too much seek hospital treatment because an overdose tends to make some feel frightened. Most of these people would appreciate a faster option than just “waiting it out.”
This can also serve as an effective deterrent to excessive cannabis abuse. Those who’ve experienced a “bad trip” from using too much for their tolerance don’t want to repeat the experience.
Sometimes All That’s Needed Is a Little Common Sense
After examining the facts:
- No one has ever died from cannabis but tens of thousands a people die per year from opiates
- The LD50 for cannabis is extremely high while the LD50 for opiates is extremely low
- The therapeutic index for cannabis is 14 times higher than morphine
It’s hard to believe anyone would consider cannabis as merely a “slightly less awful life-wrecking dependency.” If anything, cannabis is a vitally important and incredibly safe medicine that could provide relief for thousands of people who currently risk addiction or death from overuse of opiates for pain control.
If you have questions, our Cannabis Concierge can help steer you towards the products that might be suitable to help you find relief from your symptoms. You should check with your doctor before incorporating cannabis into your treatment regimen, but our team of experts can help lay out your options.
THC versus CBD. What’s the difference, and what does it mean for your marijuana consumption?
What you'll learn in this post:
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“This Is a Miracle Drug”
Poolside in Covina, California, “Sylvia”* daintily purses her lips and takes a quick rip of her joint, deceptively potent despite its modest roll.
“I purchase only top shelf stuff. I learned from my kids…quality over quantity,” she smiles through the tendrils of Bubble Gum scents as they waft through the air.
“I have a little bit of everything. Some glaucoma. Nausea from my heart medicine. Arthritis in my hands. And trouble sleeping and anxiety, most of which started when my husband passed away five years ago.” She issues a wry grin and says “Now I don’t have to go out much, so I’ve become quite the bud-tender.”
She says this all in an unflinching, matter-of-fact manner, as if describing a medical procedure. “When someone recommended medical marijuana years back for all my ailments, I laughed. I hadn’t used the stuff since high school, and even then I was not even a recreational user.”
But she got a prescription, and now expertly names of her favorite strains with the energetic vigor of a Napa Valley sommelier. She fingers a particularly purplish offering and notes “We just got this in. See the hairs on this one? How many crystals? This is super THC-loaded!”
Cannabis & the Cannabinoid Connection
Marijuana’s strains can be as colorful and varied as wildflowers themselves, yet all the plants have a remarkably popular way of discussing and measuring potency: THC.
All marijuana plants contain dozens of cannabinoids. Some are very well-known. And the undisputed king of all cannabinoids is tetrahydrocannabinol. Name-checked in music videos and a familiar acronym to even the most conservative critics, THC sits atop the mountain of infamous marijuana chemical compounds.
When enough is consumed, THC is believed to be primarily responsible for the head rush associated with marijuana, the euphoric “high” feeling that users crave. When discussed by critics as weed’s role as a gateway drug, this “buzzed” feeling tops the list as the most worrisome element, leading users down the route to addiction and harder substance abuse.
But amidst the sticky leaves of the bud plant lies a plethora of other compounds and cannabinoids besides THC that have piqued medical researchers curiosities. Chief among them is CBD (we’ll soon uncover the mystery behind THC vs CBD), short for cannabidiol.
Chief difference between THC vs CBD, simply put, is THC gets you stoned and CBD does not. The fact that patients can be treated with CBD without the troublesome side effect of getting stoned has lead to an intense look at CBD’s potential and future uses in both the recreational and medical cannabis industry.
The concept of safer medical marijuana with less side effects opens a world of possibilities of treatments, not just limited to humans.
“I’ve even given [medical marijuana] to my dog. She was thirteen and half blind, and her legs started to go,” Sylvia reveals. “Friends told me to put her down, but I just felt she had more time, and I hadn’t tried everything. I heard that there was cannabis oil you could give your pets, and I did the research.”
Luther, a surprisingly spry 16 year old dachshund mix, lays glued to Sylvia’s thigh on the couch, contently snoozing the day away. “This is a miracle drug. Anyone who says otherwise just doesn’t have a clue.”
“People Won’t Hold It Against You”
“Emily”* sits under the forlorn bleachers of her local high school. Her older boy cousin has had a connect in Berdoo for years. This slummy San Bernardino section of patchworked tract houses and failed commercial ventures projects a declining future through the hazy afternoon sunlight.
An opaque cloud explodes from her mouth as she smoothly slips her vape pen back into her pocket. “Vaping is literally the best thing to happen to weed. I vape everywhere now.”
The very picture of the recreational user, Emily nonetheless carries the picket fence picture of an ideal child to a tee. Boasting a GPA “in the high 3’s” and a veteran of several school organizations, she has already been accepted to three colleges, with no final decisions made. “I’m still waiting on Stanford, but I don’t know. I’m thinking I may stay local.”
“Smoking completely helps me study and keeps me focused. I always figured, rather than some of that nasty chemical stuff, why not use the all-natural stuff I’ve already tried?” she reasons. “I’m not saying we should all self-medicate, but I think smoking weed is much more like drinking coffee or having a cigarette than injecting a needle in your arm.”
Especially when you consider how the THC vs CBD conversation reveals that consuming different types of cannabis does not lead to madness and debauchery. Instead, different people can experience different medical and recreational applications and benefits of marijuana.
Taking a Hit Without Getting Lit
A leading argument against legalization of marijuana is the unpredictable reaction different people have, as well as proper diagnosis/dosage/strain versus recreational usage.
See also: 7 Tips to Control Your Cannabis Dosing
Both THC and CBD are found in marijuana, and both arguably have medicinal qualities. But both can provoke significantly different reactions in people, and this difference has become the central argument in the future of medical marijuana. It truly is: THC vs CBD.
Probably the main difference between the two ingredients is the psychoactive component. THC has been well-documented to cause anxiety or paranoia among new users. However, CBD is particularly non-psychoactive, meaning there is no feeling of euphoria associated with getting high.
In fact, CBD not only counteracts the effects of THC, it can reduce anxiety when administered by itself. Therefore, CBD is favored by the medical community, which prefers treatments with little to no side effects.
There is also the element of antipsychotic properties. THC produces psychosis like effects but CBD can protect marijuana users from this “super high.” CBD is actually being tested as a possible anti-psychotic medication and solution for illnesses that range from bi-polar disorder to schizophrenia.
Recent research published by Neuropharmacology reveals that CBD “induces rapid-acting anti-depressant-like” effects. “Our findings indicate that CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug, via enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling,” explained researchers.
Though she had never before heard of the difference of various marijuana chemicals (THC vs CBD), Emily was sold on CBD’s future benefits.
“I’m a huge fan of CBD research!” exclaims Emily. “If it’s true that you can get the same productive results without the high, the stereotype of the lazy stoner won’t be as relevant anymore. Then maybe people won’t hold it against you when they find out you smoke bud.”
“I Have to Function Safely”
“Big Truck,”* a mountain of a man easily topping out over 250 pounds, heaves his heavy frame out from his compact car, almost comically too small for his considerable girth. The slight sedan groans with relief as the springs bounce back with relief.
“You’d think they (his company) could afford something for the larger man,” he cheerfully observes, noting the irony of his moniker coupling with his designated ride. “I’ve always been a pickup kinda guy, but I can’t do off-road anymore. For a while, the hands couldn’t take the shakes.”
Big Truck settles comfortably into a kitchen chair and begins nursing a Bud Light. Understandably low key about his identity due to his employment as a delivery driver, he nonetheless is a huge proponent for medical marijuana.
“Listen, okay? These hands, I could hardly grip the wheel. Three straight years, and it was a struggle every minute of every day. I’d drive with while biting my fist, to dull the pain of the soreness. But that’s the struggle…I need something for the pain, but I don’t want to be loopy or sleepy all the time. I have to function safely.”
What’s the Legality of THC & CBD?
Ask around, and you’ll find one of the principal uses for marijuana, whether prescribed as medicine or for recreational usage, is a sleep aid. Most of marijuana’s drowsy effects come from the cannabinoid THC, but on the other hand, CBD actually promotes wakefulness.
This results in CBD strains of marijuana being a poor choice for those who are trying to use it for sleep aid reasons, but an ideal selection for those who need daily routine functionality with their medical management choices.
CBD-based treatments would also be an appealing treatment option for patients suffering from ailments such as anti-inflammatory, anti-spasm effects, without the lethargy or dysphoria.
As with marijuana itself, the status of CBD and its legality in the United States remains unclear. CBD is technically illegal as it is still considered a Schedule 1 drug under federal law.
But significant gains have been opening the market to new CBD-based alternatives. Only recently was a pharmaceutical version called Epidiolex approved for the market. Produced by GWPharma, the latest version of the marijuana-based medication was used by the FDA and cleared to be tested with children who suffer from severe epilepsy.
Epidiolex trials have been so successful that it has raised the possibility of marijuana refugees, or families that split up or migrate to states with more permissive medical marijuana laws, such as Colorado and Washington state.
One such family, the Wakelys of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, is having the hard debate on how to treat son Eli’s aggressive epilepsy, as they search for access to marijuana strains rich in CBD. “We just want him to have a good life without seizures,” adds Lynne Wakely.
In fact, marijuana has been a medical option in human society dating back thousands of years.
As Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon, medical professor and Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN, remarked as he harshly criticized marijuana’s Schedule 1 classification.
“The science is there. This isn’t anecdotal,” he remarked in 2013. “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States. It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications.”
Waxing on the cloudy legality of weed in America, Big Truck has a pragmatically fatalistic attitude. “I don’t want to do anything illegal, but at a certain point I want to survive pain-free. Not comfortably, but pain-free.”
Big Truck pops the top off a prescription bottle and shovels out two black pills, roughly a third the size of a man’s pinky. “Pretty good size, but I’m a big boy,” Big Truck remarks jovially as he swallows them down sans water. “I know these ones are billed primarily as THC pills. That’s why I only take them when I get off, my closers.”
Asked if he was worried about drug testing at his job, Big Truck shrugs it off. “If it happens, I figure it out. I’m not driving people anyways. Plus I don’t take a lot. I’m safe. In the morning, I’ll have an edible or two, something that wakes you up and evens out the pain. I even try out the creams. But yeah, if I feel buzzed I know it’s time to cut myself off.”
Reading about the developments in the industry, the lumbering driver optimistically continues to believe in the future of marijuana and medicine and what CBD research has done already. “I never knew the chemical differences were the cause, but whatever makes it safer is good by me.”
It’s safe to say many consumers don’t know the difference between THC vs CBD…
Mainstream Acceptance of Cannabis
No matter the varying opinions in the debate of the validity of THC vs CBD, even the most ardent critics admit that marijuana for medical purposes is gaining more and more mainstream acceptance.
The advent of CBD exploration and its stone-less alternative to the buzzed experience that THC-filled strains produce today has the medical community cautiously excited about the possibilities, even as the legal ramifications have yet to be unveiled.
If test results continue to bear positive results and more communities vote to allow the sale of medical marijuana, sufferers of ailments varying from epilepsy to schizophrenia might have a more effective, more socially acceptable medication to turn to in the coming years.
Summary: THC vs CBD
- THC has been well-documented to cause anxiety or paranoia among new users.
- CBD is particularly non-psychoactive, meaning there is no feeling of euphoria associated with getting high.
- THC is believed to be primarily responsible for the head rush associated with marijuana.
- Most of marijuana’s drowsy effects come from the cannabinoid THC, but on the other hand, CBD actually promotes wakefulness.
- CBD-based treatments would also be an appealing treatment option for patients suffering from ailments such as anti-inflammatory, anti-spasm effects, without the lethargy or dysphoria.
- CBD is technically illegal as it is still considered a Schedule 1 drug under federal law, but significant gains have been opening the market to new CBD-based alternatives.
“What, if any, are the medical and health benefits of marijuana?”
It’s a frequently asked question, and rightfully so.
23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Spurred on by the increasing information made available from research studies and trials from around the globe, many ‘experts’ are beginning to see cannabis for what it is:
- A potent medicinal drug with the potential to improve overall quality of life; and
- Medicine with limited-to-no side effects (consider all of those pharmaceutical TV advertisements and their list of side-effects a mile long, like Belviq could soon become a thing of the past).
There’s a reason medical marijuana has come to the forefront of America’s attention in recent years. It’s quite literally a miracle plant, a natural ‘wonder drug,’ And for millions, it is a literal life-saver, providing countless health benefits and treatments for ailments. But it isn’t for everyone, and with all the noise surrounding the plant, it can sometimes be difficult to comprehend what the actual health benefits of cannabis are, and how to determine if it’s the right medication for you.
So let’s start by considering ten ways medicinal cannabis can be beneficial to you and your health:
To start on the right foot, let’s cover some of the basics, or Cannabis 101 as I call it.
What is it? Cannabis is the scientific name for a “tall plant with a stiff upright stem, divided serrated leaves, and glandular hairs,” called the for the marijuana plant.
The cannabis plant produces several naturally occurring compounds called cannabinoids, which react with the human body in different ways. The most famous of these cannabinoids is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinoid, commonly dubbed “THC.” It’s the psychoactive cannabinoid that gives you that notable “high” feeling when smoked, ingested, vaporized, or applied (sublingually or topically).
In recent years, another cannabinoid called cannabidiol, or “CBD” has become the focal point of significant scientific research. Numerous studies have shown that CBD has medicinal value without the psychoactive characteristics of THC. In other words, it has specific, medical benefits and applications and won’t get you high.
There are several other compounds found in the cannabis plant, but these are still little understood. Hopefully with the reclassification of cannabis (down from its current Schedule I drug ranking), we’ll see increased funding for medical research of cannabis.
For now, as far as science and medicine are concerned, the entire value of cannabis is extracted from its THC and CBD compounds. What’s noteworthy is that the method by which these compounds are delivered to the body hasn’t been a focal point of scientific research. In fact, scientists tend to conduct studies with cannabinoids that have been extracted from the plant or synthesized in a lab. That means there’s little information available as to whether the effects of THC & CBD differ when applied via new cannabis forms like concentrates, waxes and hash. This also poses the question of whether cannabis maintains the same health benefits to users when consumed in different forms.
And that’s important to bear in mind when comparing scientific studies to the experience of the typical user.
Now that you’ve mastered the basics of cannabis let’s explore what else it can do:
1. Cannabis Can Protect Your Vision
Whether you know someone personally or just watched Zach Galifianakis & Robert Downey Jr. in the film, Due Date, you’re likely aware that cannabis has been shown to improve the lives of glaucoma patients.
Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases that cause abnormally high pressure in they eye, damaging the optic nerve, causing significant pain. It’s one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S., can occur at any age (but is most common in adults), offers no warning signs, and causes irreversible vision loss.
The good news is that medical marijuana eases the symptoms of glaucoma, by reducing stress on the optic nerve. In fact, glaucoma was the first condition to be approved for treatment with marijuana, since cannabis prohibition in the 1930’s.
“No adverse effects from the smoking of marijuana have been demonstrated.” Federal Judge James Washington, 1976
Fast forward to the 1970’s, when a man named Robert C. Randall sued the government for the right to treat his glaucoma with marijuana. In 1976, federal Judge James Washington ruled for Randall. He found that “while blindness was shown by competent medical testimony to be the otherwise inevitable result of the defendant’s disease, no adverse effects from the smoking of marijuana have been demonstrated.”
Since then, other, less controversial, treatments have become available, leading the American Glaucoma Society to remove THC from its list of approved treatments. But that doesn’t change the undeniable impact Randall’s case has had in the fight for medical marijuana use.
2. Cannabis Provides Relief for Severely Ill Cancer and AIDS Patients
The most widely recognized benefit of cannabis for medical use (and the only one currently accepted by the Food and Drug Administration) is its effectiveness in relieving nausea and loss of appetite. Both conditions are common side-effects experienced by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and as well as AIDs patients experiencing its associative “wasting syndrome.”
Researchers found that THC was undeniably effective in reducing nausea and increasing appetite in clinical trials. They also figured out a way to synthesize THC in a lab, thereby avoiding cannabis plant restrictions imposed by the federal government.
Synthetic THC is currently available under the brand names Marinol and Cesamet. Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, Deputy Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the Food and Drug Administration, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives that “These products have undergone FDA’s rigorous approval process and have been determined to be safe and effective for their respective indications.”
The U.S. government cites the availability of synthetic THC as a key reason for their opposition of widespread medical marijuana legalization. By that standard, the availability of synthetic THC should immediately call for the reclassification of cannabis from it’s current status as a Schedule I drug, which effectively claims that there are zero medical benefits of marijuana. But alas, hypocrisy is rampant this day in age.
What the government fails to recognize is the vast accumulation of anecdotal evidence by many cancer and AIDS patients showing synthetic THC is inferior, and unpleasant, when compared to other consumption methods — like smoking the plant itself, which means these patients might not be receiving the full effects and benefits of cannabis.
In fact, it was the great outcry from those same cancer and AIDS patients, seeking relief from their symptoms, which supplied the biggest push for the medical marijuana movement in California. That drive resulted in the first compassionate use law in the U.S., enacted by California voters in 1996.
3. Cannabis For Pain Relief
Did you know that if someone say they’re “feeling no pain” when using marijuana, studies are suggesting that what they’re saying is literally true? THC and CBD are being closely studied to examine their effectiveness in treating chronic pain. The hope is that these studies will validate the existing anecdotal evidence: that THC, CBD, or similar cannabis compounds are more effective than current opioid pain medications for a variety of conditions including arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, muscular sclerosis, cancer and other neurological conditions.
And even if the cannabinoids are found only to be equally as effective as existing pharmaceuticals, it would still be a landslide victory. Why? Because cannabis doesn’t come with the scary list of nasty side effects that opioids carry. The benefits of marijuana far outweigh any associated side effects, which are very limited and minor in nature.
One case study gave the following insight into the effectiveness of THC vs. CBD in treating his pain.
The patient, a chronic pain sufferer, who regularly uses medical marijuana to alleviate his daily struggles with chronic pain said that the pain (due to arthritis and a rare degenerative condition in the spine) can render him relatively immobile on certain days.
Initially, the patient experimented with virtually every type of cannabis consumption I’ve ever heard of: smoking flower, vaporizing flower, dabbing concentrates, vaporizing concentrates, ingesting edibles, drinking THC-infused beverages (like Sprig soda), applying topical rubs and ointments, etc. to little or no success.
He stated that he had found relief in certain high-THC and high-CBD strains like Blackberry Kush and ACDC (strains high in both THC & CBD tend to make the best pain medicines), but that it wasn’t until trying high-CBD products in the form of sublingual drops that he found his real medicine.
Based on personal experience, the patient advised that sublingual drops were preferred as they don’t imbue users with the typical “high” or “baked” feeling. He, instead, noticed significant pain relief without the psychoactive effects. He reported feeling more comfortable in daily activities, remarking that that the drops had the additional benefit of reducing his smoking consumption to nearly half.
4. Cannabis Decreases Anxiety, Combats PTSD
A 2010 study by Harvard Medical found that in small doses cannabis reduced anxiety, improving the user’s overall mood and providing a generalized sedative effect, similar to over the counter medications but without the side effects.
It has been approved for treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD across the country, and in New Mexico is the primary reason patients get a license for medical marijuana use.
And the Department of Health and Human Services even signed off on a government proposal aimed at further study into the benefits of marijuana for veterans living with PTSD – the only time the U.S. government has every authorized a proposal that includes either vaporized or smoked marijuana – a classified drug with no “accepted” medical applications!
Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, assist the body in controlling the system that causes anxiety and fear in both the brain and the body.
John, a two-tour veteran of the Iraq conflict “swears by it,” as treatment. “It gives me relief from the anxiety but doesn’t leave me fuzzy-minded.” Adding that it, “helps me sleep with no nightmares.”
Because marijuana disrupts the typical sleep cycle by interrupting some of the later stages of REM sleep — the dream state — many sufferers of PTSD find relief from night-time terrors when using cannabis. When REM state is disrupted, the nightmares often are as well, aiding veterans in achieving restorative sleep.
5. Cannabis Counteracts Autoimmune Disorders, like Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis
Lupus, the common name for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, is an autoimmune disease characterized by swelling and inflammation of joints in the body, kidney, lung, and heart damage, among other symptoms. With autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks the healthy tissues in the body.
In 2014 the Journal of Biological Chemistry published research that illustrated how THC can “suppress the body’s immune functions,” and that’s good news for people living with autoimmune diseases like Lupus.
Additional benefits of cannabis use like relief of associated nausea and body pain, make it a desired choice among some patients.
Emma V., a recently diagnosed Lupus patient in the UK, said that cannabis “was really the only choice.” Adding, “I can take one drug [cannabis] and get relief from multiple symptoms and feel well enough to get on with my day, or I can take a handful of tablets [OTC medications] and be useless.”
6. Cannabis Helps Manage Epilepsy, Other Seizure Disorders
Approximately 1% of the world’s population suffers from some form of epilepsy. And of those nearly 72 million people (more than twice the population of Canada!) it is estimated that between 20-30% of all individuals with epilepsy are not “adequately controlled with conventional drugs.”
In 2003, a study performed by Virginia Commonwealth University found that “cannabinoids work at controlling seizures.” The cannabinoids activate a protein, commonly known as the CB1 receptor, that is responsible for “controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.”
And it’s not just epilepsy.
Patients suffering the symptoms of Dravet’s Syndrome, a severe disorder that causes seizures and developmental delays, are also finding some relief thanks to cannabis use.
Parents of five-year-old Colorado native Charlotte Figi had found little benefit in conventional medications for treating their daughter’s condition. They did, however, see a drop in the frequency and intensity of her seizures – from 300 per week, to just one approximately every seven days – once they began treating her with CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid.
7. Cannabis Slows Progression of Alzheimer’s
It doesn’t get much scarier than Alzheimer’s Disease. A debilitating, progressive disease with no known cure, stealing memories and experiences from lives around the world. But that could all be changing. A 2006 study done by Kim Janda, of the Scripps Institute in California, found that THC blocks the accumulation of amyloid plaque, the primary marker for Alzheimer’s, better than anything currently used. It does so by blocking the enzyme that makes the plaques. The plaques kill brain cells, causing Alzheimer’s.
“These findings offer convincing evidence that THC possesses remarkable inhibitory qualities,” said Janda in conversation with MSNBC, “especially when compared to AChE inhibitors currently available to patients.”
More recently, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, reported similar findings to support the effectiveness of THC in “prohibiting the growth of toxic amyloid plagues.”
8. Cannabis and Cancer – Benefits of Marijuana
We’ve all heard that cannabis is beneficial for cancer patients. The FDA has approved its use (in the form of Nabilone) when prescribed by a doctor anywhere in the U.S., and tens of thousands of cancer patients already use the medicine for relief from harsh chemotherapy, but what if it did something more? What if cannabis could stop cancer? Recent studies say it very possibly can. The mounting evidence supports the potential for THC actually to prevent the spread of the disease.
Researchers at the San Francisco-based California Pacific Medical Center reported that CBD may help to prevent cancer cells from spreading.
The study focuses on ID-1, the gene that has one job: it causes cancer to spread. Pierre Desprez, one of the scientists responsible for the groundbreaking research has spent ‘decades’ studying the gene. Desprez joined forces with fellow scientist Sean McAllister, who was working with the effects of CBD. The pairing resulted in research that shows, “Cannabidiol could essentially ‘turn off’ the ID-1.”
The American Association for Cancer Research also reports that marijuana can impede tumor growth in lungs, breast and brain cancers.
9. Cannabis Lessons Side-Effects in Hepatitis C Treatments, Increases Overall Treatment Effectiveness
The treatment for Hepatitis C, a potentially deadly viral infection affecting nearly 4 million Americans, is long, costly and painful to endure. Consisting of months-long therapy of two heavy hitting pharmaceuticals, ribavirin and interferon – the side effects of which include intense fatigue, severe muscle aches, nausea, depression and loss of appetite – causes many patients actually to stop taking the treatment, despite resulting permanent liver damage.
But a 2006 study, published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology reported that 86% of patients who used cannabis, completed their Hepatitis C therapy when compared to 29% of those who did not use cannabis. The study also reported that the effectiveness of the treatment appeared to be enhanced. They said that 54% of patients who used cannabis kept their viral levels low, compared to only 8% of non-users.
10. Cannabis Calms Parkinson’s Tremors
Israeli researchers recently discovered the benefits of marijuana on Parkinson’s disease tremors and associated pain.
Ruth Djaldetti, MD, of Tel Aviv University Israel, presented the findings of her report at the International Congress on Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders. She explained how people living with the debilitating disease ranked their disease on a standardized “Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale.” The UPDRS rating helps medical professionals understand the scope of a patient’s personal difficulties. Before using cannabis, patients reported an average rank of 33. Approximately thirty minutes after using cannabis, these same patients reported a drop to an average rank of 24.
In conversation with Ed Susman of MedPage Today, Dr. Djaldetti said, “We not only saw improvement in tremor in these patients, but also in rigidity and in bradykinesia.” Dr. Djaldetti said she “would recommend use of marijuana to my patients.”
Cannabis has also been reported to be a good sleep aid for many people living with Parkinson’s. But perhaps the most interesting findings were the reports of increased fine motor skills among patients who used cannabis.
The benefits of marijuana are real. With mounting evidence supporting the wide and varied uses of cannabis as a life-enhancing medication, we can only hope it will soon receive the widespread recognition it so readily deserves.
As one of Mother Nature’s finest herbs, cannabis is renowned as a sacred plant with incredible power. It’s an alternative medicine with a plethora of benefits. And the more I explore this therapeutic avenue, the more I see cannabis playing a key role in our healing and harmony.
Generationally, Cannabis has been utilized for wellness practices, spiritual ceremonies, and culturally significant social gatherings. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits provided with responsible use are abundant and, thankfully, growing recognition!
AS SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE OF ANCIENT PLANT MEDICINE IS GRASS-ROOTING ITS WAY THROUGH OUR STREETS, LIKE-MINDED THINKERS ARE COMING TOGETHER TO FORM REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNITIES.
Cannabis and Yoga: a Collective of the Mind, Body & Soul.
From the moment I connected with Christian, owner of the Natural Wellness Foundation (whose cannabis menu can be found on Nugg’s website here), I knew there was much more to his business than being a reputable delivery service with quality cannabis products. I sensed a revolutionary mission statement behind his business plan and was eager to learn more.
THE NATURAL WELLNESS FOUNDATION IS A COMMUNITY CENTERED AROUND CANNABIS RESEARCH, EDUCATION, EFFECTIVE HEALING PRACTICES (THAT ARE SCIENTIFICALLY SUPPORTED), AND A DESIRE TO CREATE A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY FOR ITS PATIENTS TO HEAL WITH AND SOCIALIZE WITHIN.
Christian: “Aside from having a selection of exceptional medicinal grade cannabis, I believe that we set the standard for a personalized and effective cannabis profile for our patients.
The Focus Groups we hold really help us define gaps in the cannabis community. Through our patients’ participation in our discussions, we’ve gathered meaningful data and feedback. Having come from a healthcare background professionally, I felt a certain responsibility to do what we can to help close those gaps and fill a need within the community.
Yoga events, 420 socials, educational forums. They were all requested by our patients. So we obliged.”
We spent the afternoon discussing cannabis in our communities and brainstorming ways to revolutionize those relationships. I eagerly joined the council and planned to attend their next event, the Ganja Yoga event. As a yogi and medical marijuana patient, I was pretty stoked to see what this was all about.
Yoga & Cannabis – A Sensational Healing Experience
I’ve always been one to combine my healing practices because I find them to be synergetic in effect. Medicating with cannabis before yoga allows me to push myself further and dive deeper into my practice. I find myself opening up more, which helps my mind, body, and soul grow in highly beneficial ways.
COMBINING YOGA, SOUND HEALING AND MEDICAL CANNABIS, WITH EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY, THE NATURAL WELLNESS FOUNDATION CREATED AN EVENT CENTERED AROUND COLLECTIVE HEALING. THE ENTIRE CLASS WAS CHOREOGRAPHED TO CREATE A PROFOUND HEALING EXPERIENCE. EVERY POSE, STRAIN, SOUND, AND WORD HAD A PURPOSE.
The event was held at a private location with an intimate group of patients. It was a sunny Saturday morning and the garden patio where we were lounging prior to class was warm and inviting. Fresh coffee, water, and extra mats were all provided and awaited our use by a lush garden.
Once all 5 students arrived for class, Christian offered us cups of Jane’s Brew cannabis infused chamomile tea.
Jasmine: “Why did you choose this brew to start the event?”
Christian: “I’ve found the Jane’s Brew line of products to be a fantastic way to medicate first thing in the morning. It’s a very potent but relaxing high. Ideal for loosening up.”
And he was absolutely correct. The tea set the perfect tone to start the experience. It was very comforting. I felt light and more relaxed – and with the way my body carries stress, I really needed that.
We then made our way into the studio space where our mats were lined up with complementary bottles of smart water. At the front of the room was a collection of instruments – a guitar, drums, a dijurido, chimes and Tibetan song bowls – all to be performed impromptu by an incredible musician named Jim Maloney. He’s from Mana Vibrations and was going to be taking us through an amazing sound healing experience during our extended yoga class.
Ashley DeMarco, a talented yoga teacher from SoCal Yoga Retreats, worked with Christian to put together a flow that would compliment the strains we were given during our practice. With that model in mind, she felt out where our class was energetically and free flowed a sequence based off what felt right for us in the moment. It was awesome!
She led us through a very gentle opening sequence. We spent a lot of time slowly opening up the body, taking our time to really ease into each pose.
We broke for water often and had two medication sessions within our sequence.
The first strain we smoked was “True Blue.”
Christian: “This decision was made a month prior to the event. So I had to make sure the store was fully stocked and that our supply was well cared for. This particular strain is like smoking pure inspiration. You can’t help but become hyper receptive to your surroundings, your body, and your thoughts if you smoke this alone. Also, music sounds incredible while enjoying it. However, if you smoke this with others, all the receptiveness is heightened. It becomes empathy towards those around you.”
At this point in the class we were still opening up the body, so the True Blue did a great job of heightening sensations and expanding awareness.
Yoga alone is a practice that allows you to go deep into your own healing. It’s an individual practice that takes on a different form when practiced as a group. It’s all added energy that joins the playing field. The result is an empowering reminder that we’re all essentially in this together.
Christian: “As you felt during the session, everyone was perfectly in tuned with each other. This was the intended effect.”
As the sequence carries on and we go deeper into our practice, I’m either focused on settling into – or not falling out of – a pose, or off getting lost in the vibration of live music melodies coursing through my veins. The aromatherapy and essential oils also added such an entrancing touch to the experience that I completely lost track of time.
When it came time for our peak pose, we were passed joints of Super Silver Haze.
Christian: “Super Silver Haze is a sativa dominant hybrid. It’s great for circulation and bumping up your energy level. We decided to smoke this strain just before our peak pose (humble warrior) for that little extra help in getting through the workout.”
After powering through those poses, it was time to cool down the body. We took our time getting to the ground, really sipping every last ounce of love from our practice.
Before we laid down for shavasana, we spontaneously opened up to a brief discussion. This was one lady’s first experience with yoga – ever! She was loving it all so much that she had to share her newfound admiration with the group. Then it became really clear that we were all pretty stoked – for her, that moment, life, everything.
IT WAS AWESOME TO SEE THE WHOLE GROUP TRULY ENJOY THEMSELVES AND BE TOTALLY OPEN TO THIS WHOLE EXPERIENCE. WE ALL FELT AMAZING AND WERE SO GRATEFUL TO BE TAKEN ON WHAT SEEMED TO BE LIKE THE MOST REJUVENATING MINI VACATION EVER.
But no yoga session is complete without shavasana and meditation! Christian then gave us CBD infused watermelon juice to prep us for our final pose.
Christian: “I wanted to quite the mind towards the end of the workout so I decided to put the THC aside and stick with CBDs. The tincture we use is handcrafted locally by KBPureEssentials.com. They use a high CBD strain of cannabis called AC/DC. I’ve found it works very well for bringing one back to homeostasis. It’s a great balancer.”
The watermelon juice was DELICIOUS. And according to Ashley it has 4 times the electrolytes as coconut water! YEW!
After settling down and dimming the lights, Ashley took us through a short guided meditation. Her voice then faded into the Tibetan sound bowl vibrating brilliant frequencies around the room.
I felt healing energy in every form, soaking into my being. The CDBs had definitely taken effect because I could feel my body chilling out on a cellular level.
We stayed in shavasana long enough to really absorb all the sweet nectar oozing from our practice before coming together in añjali mudra to seal class together.
AT THIS POINT I WAS ON CLOUD NINE. MY BODY FELT AMAZING. MY MIND WAS NOT TRYING TO BE MY ENEMY. AND I GENUINELY FELT REALLY GOOD ABOUT EVERYTHING HAPPENING AROUND ME. I WAS LIVING IN THE MOMENT. I WAS CONNECTED TO MYSELF, EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING AROUND ME. AND I WAS HAPPY.
The only thing that made this experience better was wondering back out to the patio to find a nutritious breakfast provided alongside a bunch of complementary joints and gift bags.
This led way to open up the floor to an excellent discussion around educated cannabis use.
There were are about 10 of us total including the educators, ages from 26 to mid 60s, I believe. I was the youngest. The group shared personal experiences and everyone had something profound and inspiring to say.
Jasmine: “Why did you structure the course the way you did?”
Christian: “The Natural Wellness Foundation believes in healing a person with a 3 pronged approach.
1. Stimulating the mind through education
2. Healing the body through quality meds and healthy practices
3. Fulfilling the spirit through community
It was important to me that the event have an educational module that required active group participation. That’s why Dr. Nick was invited to lead a discussion on cannabis as an aphrodisiac.”
Dr. Nick Karras shared some insightful findings on how cannabis is an aphrodisiac that allows couples to truly open up, break down walls, and connect to their lovers in ways previously unreachable. His findings support cannabis as a wondrous addition to living a sexually healthy lifestyle – and just healthier lifestyles all around!
Then story after story poured out from the group about how cannabis has been a beautiful part of their lives too. I listened to how it helped heal injuries, ease pain, and kill cancer. I learned how it fought emotional distresses and helped bring a family back together.
I FELT AN OVERWHELMING SENSE OF GRATITUDE FOR OUR DISCUSSION. IT WAS EMPATHETIC, ENLIGHTENING AND EMPOWERING.
The positivity, love, and inspiration floating around that space that really struck me.
The Natural Wellness Foundation is really setting the standard in the Cannabis community. They’re taking quality meds, professional and compassionate care, and education, and combining that with a mission to “normalize weed.” They’re creating a movement in support of conscious cannabis consumption.
Cristian: “I want to grow in to a fully self-sustaining community surrounding cannabis. A grouping of like-minded individuals who understand the value that cannabis can add to our lives on an personal level, community level, and as a nation.”
People want to heal themselves and they should feel free to do so – openly, responsibly and in accordance with your own personal journey.
Cannabis has played a key role in my self healing and continues to do so. It helps me balance my mind, restore my body, and enliven my spirit. And when paired with yoga and sound healing, the effects are synergetic. They’re magical.
The Yoga Ganja event was much more than your average yoga class. It was a revitalizing experience iwth soothing sensory stimulation and collective healing. It was a journey to harmony and I highly recommend it to every cannabis consumer looking to take their healing high to the next level.
I could only find a few cannabis-focused yoga events (I’ve listed them below) in other cities, but I’m sure asking around at your local dispensaries will lead you to one.
Ganja Yoga, SF —
A San Francisco meetup group — led by Dee, a certified hatha yoga teacher with twenty years of practice — dives into Ganja Yoga, a “high-quality instruction, based on mindfulness and good alignment for injury-prevention, designed for any body.” Dee is also a sexuality coach and tantra teacher, and works with individuals, couples, and groups of friends in private sessions.
You can read about Neal Pollack’s (author at the Cannabist) three-day experience with Ganja Yoga in San Francisco.
420 Yoga, LA —
Previously located in Atwater village, but relocating to Oakland, CA this fall, is another yoga destination with cannabis-infused sessions, but . Read about it in a review from Vice.
And last but not least, there’s Canna Camp, a new rare experience held in a secluded Colorado mountain resort that offers guests the opportunity to learn about and experience the outdoors and cannabis in a safe, comfortable, and social environment. Cannabis activities include things like cooking, educational classes, yoga, painting, massage-therapy, and glass-blowing (demonstrations).
So, what are your experiences with cannabis and yoga? Have you done anything like this before? Share your stories in the comments below!
There’s something exciting in the air, and by air, I mean your mouth. That’s because the days of “classic” cannabis edibles — those fat-filled, calorie-laden chocolate pot brownies and cookies — are officially gone. Sure, you can still find the traditional marijuana desert edibles, but they’re quickly being replaced by more exciting, exotic, even healthy cannabis treats. This post won’t cover the new-age healthy options (you can check out our post on vegan marijuana edibles for that), but rather how “desert-edibles” are getting a makeover.
Six New-Age Cannabis Candy Edibles for the Adventurous Edible-Lover:
1. Edipure Watermelon Tarts
Edipure products are potent (for their size) and taste great. The company prides itself on successfully eliminating the taste of cannabis in all their products. They think cannabis candy should taste more like candy and less like cannabis, and we agree! (On that note, the strength of cannabis-taste in an edible can be a fine indicator of the potency of that product, so having no taste at all can be misleading, so beware!) Edipure candy products usually come in small 10mg pieces, so it’s easy to control your dosing. If you’re going to give these little guys a shot, we recommend the “Watermelon Tart” flavor! Just make sure you place these goodies out of reach of children, since they directly resemble sugary sweets like Sour Patch Kids.
Remember the powdered candy craze from the 90’s? Well it’s back with a vengeance in medicated marijuana form. Wizzie Stix are basically Pixy Sticks, but each stick contains 50mg of THC! That’s potent enough for even the stoniest of stoners to feel, so be extremely careful if you’re a new cannabis user. In fact, we recommend starting with just 1/4 of one straw, then working your way up to a full straw if you feel comfortable. In my personal opinion, these straight-sugar edible straws represent one of the most convenient and fun ways to consume cannabis — just pour some sugar down your throat, get medicated and simultaneously enjoy a rush of nostalgia from your days as a young lad!
Kandy Care’s medicated cotton candy doesn’t need much explanation. It’s another straight-sugar product, delightfully infused with THC and lab-tested for quality and potency. The only downside to this product is its geo-location lock, which seals the packaging shut until it recognizes you’re either at a monster-truck rally, a baseball game, or the county fairgrounds — the only three places one would ever eat cotton candy.
Many cannabis-users dismiss cannabis candy products due to their traditionally low potency (many come in 10mg increments). Well, now there’s a cannabis candy for those with a higher tolerance. Whether you prefer sativa, indica, hybrid, or even pure CBD; Kushy Punch has a bite-sized product to provide maximum relief. The company hasn’t been around for long (and they produce everything in California) but I’ve seen their products flying off dispensary shelves. And it might not just be their tasty products… the company also donates 10% of their profits to local charities! That’s something we haven’t seen many cannabis brands do, but is something we whole-heartedly endorse. Go Kushy!
Do you have a plethora of food allergies? Never fear! Cheeba Chews are here! Cheeba Chew products are both gluten and peanut free and the best thing about them is that there are so many different types. There’s a huge selection of doses, strains, and flavors available. They even have some containing only CBD for those of you trying to stay clear headed while still treating your symptoms. Also, you don’t have to look too hard for these. Cheeba Chews tend to be everywhere. In fact, chances are you’ve already heard of this Cannabis Cup winner, these guys are veterans in the world of all things cannabis! They also tend to be on the cheaper side, so if you’re trying to save some dough, this might be the best choice. Plus, check out the artsy video below to see how they’re made!
Are you sick of commonplace, tart & sour cannabis candy? Or maybe you’re a cannabis candy connoisseur? Incredibles has created a name for themselves in the vast world of cannabis candy by inventing a variety of exotic flavors. Most cannabis candies are usually just medicated versions of everyday candy, but Incredibles has created something truly unique. By combining contrasting flavors like raspberry and habanero, the company has set out to create unimaginable taste sensations, fueled by a cannabis-infused high. You could consider this product the fine wine of cannabis candy, so try a bite!
Well there you have it folks, six sweet marijuana edibles that will do your sweet tooth some good.
Sliced thin with flecks of dill peeking out, the salmon looks like any other of gravlax you would have for brunch. But put it on a bagel with a schmear of cream cheese, and you will get pretty stoned eating this delicacy.
The mastermind behind the THC infused salmon – cured in salt, dill, lemon, sugar and a weed tincture – is Josh Pollack, owner of Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen in Denver.
“I love bagels and lox, and I love cannabis,” Pollack said.
Pollack, a New Jersey native who grew up going to establishments like Russ and Daughters, moved to Colorado for college. He loved the state, but missed the bagels from back east. After graduating, he worked in finance for a while, but tired of that and moved on to a more fulfilling passion: food.
“I’ve always been food obsessed,” Pollack said. “Bagels and lox has always been a comfort food.”
It was tough to find his favorite comfort food, so specific to the New York and New Jersey area, in Denver. So last year, Pollack opened Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen to serve up classics like bagels and lox.
The idea to infuse salmon with a weed tincture came about as a “fun little thing to do” for the 4/20 “stoner holiday”, as Pollack called it, earlier this year. It was a hit.
“It puts two things that people really love together,” he said. “That’s why I did it. There were people freaking out when they heard about it.”
The first batch of THC-infused salmon, which Pollack and his team passed out to people at a 4/20 event, was a little strong, making it difficult for people to eat a whole bagel covered in the stuff. Through trial and error, Pollack and his team at Rosenberg’s have figured out the right proportion of weed to salmon.
According to Colorado marijuana regulations, edibles sold recreationally must be wrapped individually or distributed in increments of no more than 10 milligrams of activated THC. To meet this law, which Pollack said is a “safe point” for most people, every three ounces of fish – the ideal serving amount for a bagel – should contain 10 milligrams of the tincture.
Pollack is still in the process of perfecting the dish, and said he has gotten more calculated each time they make a batch.
Pollack can’t currently sell the special salmon, but once he perfects the proportions, he hopes to sell it through local dispensaries. Unlike other edibles, salmon is “not a particularly shelf stable product”, so he said he will likely sell it on a special order basis.
The process of giving the salmon what Pollack calls a “tiny herbaceous flavor” is similar to the way he cures all the salmon for his delicatessen. First he makes a tincture by soaking weed in strong alcohol, straining it out and cooking the alcohol out of the remaining green liquid without activating the THC. Then, he adds the tincture to the recipe used for the cure recipe the delicatessen uses on all gravlax – a mixture of spices and a little bit of alcohol that acts as a retaining agent.
The salmon dries in the fridge for 72 hours to let the flavor disperse throughout the flesh and form a hard outer shell, and is then topped with lemon and dill.
“With this application, it goes really well to appropriately mask the flavor of the cannabis,” Pollack said. He said people like it because most edible products are brownies or candies – sweets filled with sugar that don’t really hide the flavor of cannabis, which not everyone likes. Savory items infused with weed, though on the rise, are still rare.
Now, Pollack is working on a new batch of gravlax for the Harvest Gathering, a Jewish food event in Colorado at the end of September, where he plans to teach Jewish chefs how to cook with cannabis. Lox isn’t the only Jewish food Pollack is currently infusing with weed; he’s also trying his hand at matzah ball soup, made with cannabis-infused schmaltz.
“Anything you can cook with fat, you can cook with cannabis,” he said.